World Bank to stop all Programs in Russia and Belarus
The World Bank said that it suspended all programs in Russia and Belarus shortly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine and "hostilities against the people of Ukraine."
In a statement, the Multilateral Development Bank said it has not approved new loans or investments in Russia since 2014 when Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea region.
The Bank has said they have not approved new loans to Belarus since mid-2020 when the United States of America imposed sanctions on the country in a controversial presidential election.
The World Bank's lending commitment to Belarus totalled $308 million in 2020 with active projects such as biomass heating projects, forestry development work and education upgrades.
According to the official website of the World Bank, it has lent more than $ 16 billion to Russia since the early 1990s. Recently approved projects include the 2013 North Caucasus Youth Program and the 2010 Cultural Heritage Program.
The decision to discontinue all programs in Russia and Belarus comes after the leaders of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund said that the financial institutions were racing to provide additional funds to Ukraine in the coming weeks. They also said that the war can result in significant spillovers to other countries.
The EU, USA, Britain and others have imposed several sanctions on Russia after the country invaded Ukraine. The countries have also imposed asset freezes, travel bans and other restrictions on Russian individuals along with President Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, Russia is calling the invasion a “special operation.”